iOS 13.4 Beta Surprises All with Apple CarKey

News Apple Carkey Featured

We’ve talked often in this space about the future of autonomous cars. It seems like every tech and auto company is racing to get their brand out on the roads first. We know Apple was in this game, but we have not seen anything yet.

However, they surprised everyone by introducing an iOS feature that shows they’re still interested in the automobile game. We know they have their CarPlay feature and are heavily involved in the auto industry in that manner, but with the iOS 13.4 beta, early adopters have found the Apple CarKey feature in a string of code, though there isn’t much that is known about it yet.

Apple CarKey

While we used to just walk out to our cars with our car keys in our hands, now we’re also often holding our cell phones as well. Your phone may be put away in a pocket or a bag, but most likely it’s out, as you’re talking to someone, messaging someone, listening to music, or even snapping a selfie. So now you have to carry two things.

But with the Apple CarKey feature, you’ll only need to bring one item to the car with you: your iPhone or possibly even your Apple Watch. Apple CarKey is designed to eliminate the need to bring a physical key to your car. You’ll be able to start your car from your iOS device.

Apple CarKey is an upcoming feature that will allow you to lock and unlock your vehicle and start it is as well if it’s NFC compatible. Possibly the best feature is that it’s in the wallet app and can be shared with others through Messages, but it will not be able to be sent to a group, only individually.

News Apple Carkey Carplay

This, of course, brings up concerns about whether it could be easily hacked. Knowing Apple and its security, however, most likely they already have a handle on protecting the feature from security threats.

But you can’t deny how nice it would be to give your family members temporary access to your vehicle if you’re away from home and they want to borrow your car. Or if you leave it at a nightclub and take an Uber home, and a friend offers to drive it home for you the next day.

Apple CarKey will be authenticated through Touch ID or Face ID, just like Apple Pay, which, by the way, allows you to leave home without your wallet. So now you don’t need your wallet or your keys, just your iPhone or Apple Watch.


Again, there isn’t much information known about this new feature yet. It’s not known whether this will be something everyone will be able to take advantage of as long as they have an NFC compatible vehicle or whether it will need to be factory installed, like CarPlay. A timeframe for when it will be available is also not known.

Is this something that interests you? Would you like to be able to start your car with just your iPhone or Apple Watch? Tell us in the comments what you think about the possibilities of Apple CarKey.

Image Credit: Butterhimmel and public domain

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura hails from the Chicago area and has been a writer and editor covering news, entertainment, and technology for nearly 20 years and has been with Onlinetivity since its inception, editing and covering news. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new devices and mobile apps.